Professor Philip Gibbons

B. App. Sc., M. For., PhD
Professor and Associate Director of Higher-degree Research, Fenner School of Environment and Society
ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Environment Policy 160507
  • Forestry Fire Management 070503
  • Environmental Impact Assessment 050204
  • Conservation And Biodiversity 050202

Research interests

My research focuses on the management of native vegetation. I focus on improving environmental impact assessment and environmental offset policy, how to manage landscapes to reduce house-losses and other assets during wildfires and cost-effective ecological restoration in natural and urban landscapes. I work closely with Commonwealth and State Governments, non-government agencies and the private sector.

My research informs two courses that I convene: Biodiversity Science (ENVS2001/63201) and Biodiversity Conservation (ENVS3039/6024), although I teach into a range of other courses such as the Environmental Science Field School, Fire in the Australian Environment, Environmental Law and Environmental Assessment. There is a focus on field-based learning in my courses.


Philip Gibbons has 30 years of experience in land management. He spent the first half of his career working with the state governments in Victoria and New South Wales as a park ranger, fire fighter and forest ecologist. Since completing a PhD in 1999 he has played key roles in: codes of practice for harvesting timber from native forests, native vegetation laws, biodiversity offsets policy, protected area management and links between land management and house loss during bushfires. He is currently a Professor at The Fenner School of Environment and Society at The Australian National University where he teaches courses related to biodiversity conservation. He has published over 150 scientific papers and five books.


Researcher's projects

Current and recent projects include:

  • Land management and house loss in wildfires
  • Biodiversity offsets and land clearing policy
  • Environmental Impact Assessment metthodology
  • Habitat restoration in urban green space
  • Environmental integrity monitoring for nature conservation
  • Restoration options as part of biodiversity offsets

Available student projects

Please contact me directly if you are interested in undergraduate, Honours, Masters or PhD research.

Honours or Masters project

Evaluating the effectiveness of different restoration treatments for understorey plants using 3D imaging

Funding partner: ACT Parks and Conservation Service

Location: Barrer Hill, Canberra

PhD (commencing 2019)

Conserving mature trees in urban environments

Please contact me for details.

Honours projects with Greening Australia

Various projects. Please contact me for details.



Current student projects

Megan McNellie (PhD)  - spatially predicting vegetation condition (with NSW Office of Environment and Heritage)

Darren Le Roux (PhD) - maintaining and perpetuating resources associated with mature trees for wildlife in modified landscapes (with Land Development Agency)

Ingrid Stirnemann (PhD) - the importance of heterogeneity for biodiversity

Nelida Villasenor (PhD) - designing urban developments for native fauna

David Johnson (PhD) -restoration of forb diversity in temperate woodlands and native temperate grasslands (with ACT Government)

Shana Nerenberg (PhD) - conserving floristic diversity in agricultural landscapes

Dean Ansell (PhD) - cost-effective ecological restoration

Daniela Carnovale (PhD) - Soil biota under seeded belts: The effect of vegetation type and influence on soil function



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  15 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers